Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 24 of 99 PRESEASON 2016 25 they have an opportunity to make their mark. Right guard Colin McGovern came to Notre Dame with a great deal of prom- ise. Ranked by ESPN as the nation's No. 124 overall player, the former Un- der Armour All-American was a cor- nerstone of the class. Multiple injuries slowed his development and have kept him from being a factor up front so far. Elmer 's departure opened up the right guard spot, and through the first two weeks of fall camp, McGovern remained healthy and appeared to be the front-runner over sophomore Tristen Hoge for the starting nod. The New Lenox, Ill., native, is a physical run blocker that when healthy gets the movement needed in the interior. If he can stay healthy, McGovern should be a fixture along the 2016 line. The lone lineman from the class to be ranked by all four recruiting services was Hunter Bivin. Like McGovern, Bivin has been slowed down by inju- ries, but he's healthy now and will be in the rotation. Bivin was competing for the starting right guard position, but he will enter the season as the third tackle. Should either starting tackle go down, he will likely be the first player off the bench. Rivals and Scout both ranked senior John Montelus as a top-100 player, but shoulder problems have limited him to a degree. Montelus spent the spring practicing at nose guard, but he's back on offense this fall. Another player that has spent time on both sides of the ball is Jacob Ma- tuska. An all-state tight end as a senior at Columbus (Ohio) Bishop Hartley, Matuska's first three years in college were spent along the defensive line. When injuries ravaged the 2014 line, Matuska was thrust into the rotation. Injuries at the tight end position late last season forced Matuska to move to offense. After practicing at tight end during preparation for the Fiesta Bowl, Matuska found a home at the position. He will look to work himself into a blocking role this fall. Cornerback Devin Butler was sup- posed to be a key part of the corner- back rotation, but an offseason foot injury put his 2016 season in jeopardy. Further complicating his future, he was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 20 at the Linebacker Lounge in South Bend on preliminary charges of battery to law enforcement and resist- ing law enforcement. The next day, Kelly suspended Butler indefinitely. ✦ SENIOR CLASS REVIEW Players Signed: 24 Players Available in 2016: 13 (five-star LB Jaylon Smith and four-star WR Will Fuller both declared for the NFL Draft; four-star OL Steve Elmer retired from football; five-star RB Greg Bryant transferred to ASA Miami Junior College and died May 8 from gunshot wounds; five-star DT Eddie Vanderdoes transferred to UCLA before his freshman season; five-star DB Max Redfield was dismissed from the program Aug. 21; three-star DB Rashad Kinlaw was kicked out of school prior to his sophomore year; and four-star LB Doug Randolph, four-star WR Corey Robinson, four-star TE Mike Heuerman and three- star LB Michael Deeb were put on medical hardship). 2013 Recruiting Rankings: Rivals (No. 3), ESPN (No. 4), 247Sports (No. 5) and Scout (No. 5) Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hunter Bivin* OL 6-5½ 308 Will be the primary backup at both right and left tackle. Devin Butler CB 6-0½ 200 Re-injured his foot during the summer and then was suspended indefinitely Aug. 21 after being arrested, putting his 2016 season in jeopardy. Tarean Folston* RB 5-9½ 214 Now healthy, is projected to be Notre Dame's lead back. Torii Hunter Jr.* WR 6-0 195 Expected to become Notre Dame's go-to receiver this season. Cole Luke CB 5-11 195 Has emerged as the team's top pass defender and is poised for a dominant final season. Jacob Matuska* TE 6-4½ 275 After moving over from the defensive line, Matuska is looking for a blocking role. Mike McGlinchey* OL 6-7½ 310 Pro Football Focus ranks him as the nation's top returning offensive tackle. Colin McGovern* OL 6-4½ 310 Is looking to earn the starting right guard position. John Montelus* OL 6-4 310 After spending the spring at nose guard, is back along the offensive line. James Onwualu* LB 6-1 232 Emerged as a leader for the Irish at Sam linebacker. Isaac Rochell DE 6-3½ 290 A physical run defender that will anchor the unit this fall. Durham Smythe* TE 6-4½ 245 If he can stay healthy, will serve as the team's primary tight end. Malik Zaire* QB 6-0 225 Will look to use his dynamic playmaking ability to win the starting spot. * Eligible for a fifth season in 2017 Colin McGovern has been slowed by injuries during his career, but was battling for the starting spot at right guard during preseason camp and could be a fixture on the offensive line this season. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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